Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico back in the fall of 2017, but the commonwealth is still struggling to get back on its feet. In her latest special, “The Great American* Puerto Rico (*It’s Complicated),” Full Frontal’s Samantha Bee investigated why FEMA left the island in the dust. Because this thing goes straight to the top, Bee enlisted one of the best conspiracy theorists out there—Fox Mulder.
In the bit, David Duchovny–as–Fox Mulder–as–David Duchovny spends a lot of time riffing about TV conspiracy theorist tropes (“Why does conspiracy yarn only come in red? I prefer blue!”), but his jokes are peppered with terrifying truisms. Puerto Rico got a much rawer deal than other affected areas, Florida and Texas: FEMA only prepared the island with enough food and water for two days, told citizens without power and electricity to apply for aid by phone or online, and then deemed the impoverished commonwealth too wealthy to receive disaster loans. He wraps up with a number of outlandish theories about FEMA, “because if it’s just that they didn’t do their fuckin’ homework—well that’s even more terrifying.”
All jokes aside, this is an interesting (if quick) breakdown of the Puerto Rico/FEMA gaffe. The “Great American*” special offers other accessible and acerbic barbs, tackling Puerto Rican statehood, reforestation, and forced diaspora through interviews with a number of citizens, local activists, and government officials. This special brings the funny, but it’s also a good starting point for anyone unfamiliar with Puerto Rican politics. No conspiracy yarn required.